German composer and arranger Franz Biebl studied music at the Humanistic Gymnasium in Amberg, and received Master of Music degrees in composition and choral conducting at the State Music Academy in Munich. Biebl worked as the choral-music consultant to the Bavarian State radio station, where he worked relentlessly to fill the station's archives with popular choral music, listening to and encouraging small choral groups all over Germany. As a composer, Biebl has striven to expand the German folk-song repertoire, composing hundreds of arrangements for all types of choral ensembles.
Biebl's setting of the Marian antiphon Ave Maria exploits the richly sonorous possibilities of double-chorus writing for men's voices. The familiar Ave Maria text is sung by a four-voice choir answered by a three-voice group of soloists. This forms a refrain separating the three chanted versicles of the Angelus, a devotional text commemorating the Incarnation, which results in a satisfying blend of medieval melodic sound and warm, multi-voiced choral harmonies. This piece, as well as two versions for mixed chorus, has been published in the U.S. by Hinshaw Music of Chapel Hill, North Carolina under the Chanticleer Choral Series label.
Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ
The angel of the Lord made his annunciation to Mary
et concepit de Spiritu sancto.
and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum;
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Blessed are you among women,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus.
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Maria dixit: Ecce ancilla Domini;
Mary said, "Behold the servant of the Lord.
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Let it be unto me according to Your Word."
Et verbum caro factum est
And the Word was made flesh
et habitavit in nobis.
and dwelt among us.
Sancta Maria, mater Dei
Holy Mary, mother of God,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus.
pray for us sinners.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis,
Holy Mary, pray for us,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.